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With 5G now available in certain cities throughout the UK, it represents an unprecedented technological shift. This means, as it continues to expand throughout the country, companies need to prepare 5G services adapted to their sector of activity. In this blog, we will explain how 5G will revolutionise the customer experience through enhanced and collaborative video capabilities.
Huge data rates, unlimited data consumption, and very low latency. This is what the arrival, and expansion, of 5G within the UK promises. In the face of this technological revolution, the 4G package model – with its limited amount of data transferred each month – seems quite obsolete. The performance upgrades 5G promises are such that every sector of the economy will benefit from these advances.
At Capgemini and Odigo, we became aware of 5G’s potential in terms of customer service relations, and anticipated in early 2019 the need to prepare these services as 5G rolled out in the UK and is getting ready to launch in France. Two lines of thought became clear to us:
We wanted to explore this second option.
With this in mind, Capgemini’s expert Salesforce team came together with Odigo. Together, we explored the possible uses of video integration in managing customer interactions. This led us to carry out an experiment on behalf of SNCF, France’s national state-owned railway company, the results of which were unveiled in November at the most recent Dreamforce conference: the 5G accelerator for Service Cloud project.
In concrete terms, what will 5G change in terms of customer experience for the mobile user? It will allow them to load content almost instantly while retaining the best quality, not only improving existing services, but also developing new ones.
Currently, the video stream, which is extremely data-intensive, is not being used to its full potential. Thanks to 5G, it will be possible to leverage it for high value-added uses. In fact, for the first time, high and very high definition audiovisual content (4K video, 3D video, etc.) will be possible for every 5G phone owner.
Add to this, the Open CTI coupling capabilities of the Salesforce platform – with its pop-up sheets on linking, log-on-call communication purposes, etc. – and enhanced video can become a new channel of interaction in its own right.
What would it look like? Looking at the news will give us an idea: as the presenter speaks, a banner with text scrolls at the bottom of the screen and inlays of images, even video, illustrate the subjects. In terms of customer experience, 5G will make it easy to do the same with customer information and context during a video call.
The next step? Add a layer of interaction management and rework these embedded elements by making them operable. Welcome to the world of enhanced video!
Imagine a customer who wants to take out a loan by phone. If they are not inclined to use self-service, they will be able to talk to an adviser who can help them configure their loan. Thanks to this technology, it will become possible for them, wherever they are, to easily vary amounts and/or durations on the screen of their 5G phone. All this while talking directly with an agent available to answer their questions and guide them through the process.
With 5G, it will be possible to build a screen from scratch – through the mixing of agent and customer video streams, but also customer data – so visual representation will be identical on both the customer and agent sides.
Indeed, what will be displayed on the customer’s screen will be included in the Salesforce user interface. The agent will therefore be able to unfold, fold, and interact with this visual representation on their screen with ease. Contrary to the trend towards dehumanisation on interaction channels, this technology, if properly used, will make it possible to put human back at the centre.
More advanced features may be offered depending on the use. Within the tourism sector, for example, this could eliminate communication problems between tourists and customer service agents.
Tourists will be able to express themselves in their native language and agents will understand, in real-time, what they are saying and be able to respond accordingly. How is this possible? Thanks to combination of speech-to-text, machine translation, and text-to-speech. With the reverse functions, the agent will answer them in English, but tourists will receive the answer in their native language.
And, going one step further, other functionalities could potentially make it possible to gauge a customer’s mood by analysing the video stream (image) and/or the audio stream (intonations).
This technology will use the phone’s native video stream injection capabilities. So, we’re talking about an immersive full-screen experience that doesn’t require installing a client-side mobile application. The only necessary programming will be to visualise all the interactions that are projected within the video (dynamic effects of appearance and disappearance of inlaid elements, reaction on the gestures, etc.). There will also be nothing to install on the agent’s side either. The only requirement will be to have a webcam available. Finally, no ruinous investments in sight. Salesforce is now an important part of the contact centre market and companies which are already equipped with Service Cloud will not need to purchase any additional Salesforce licences.
Admittedly, in terms of infrastructure, a good network remains essential to handle the video bandwidth. As a prerequisite, the contact centre will therefore have to ensure that it has sufficient data rates for this type of channel.
In terms of operating costs, the implementation of an intermediate signalling server – allowing the connection between the mobile phone and the contact centre agent – will be necessary. This cost will depend on the number of communications.
Since we are talking about something based on technologies natively available on the phone, the challenge is not so much technical. The real difficulty lies in the fact that these are disruptive services of which corporate customers may have difficulty conceiving the potential. It will be necessary to ensure the tailor-made service offers are well-calibrated to correspond to the uses of tomorrow.
These potential use cases are not known today. Correctly identifying the chosen use will therefore be something of a gamble. For this reason, adjustments will be necessary in order to provide an increasingly enhanced user experience, using levers that weren’t necessarily initially identified.
In short, this new channel will allow a multitude of new use cases in terms of assistance, support, or sales in many sectors. We are convinced that this type of service, with increased interaction capabilities, will bring consumers and brands even closer.
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